Posts

February 26, 2015

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7:36 PM | Why ASAP Could Harm Some Students
The City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) has gotten a great deal of positive attention in the last few years, and for good reason. The program provides much-needed additional economic, advising, and social supports to community college students from low-income families, and a new evaluation of a randomized trial from MDRC found that ASAP increased three-year associate’s degree completion rates from 22% in the control group to 40% in the […]

February 25, 2015

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5:19 AM | How Twitter is Shaping the #CommonCore Debate
The online fight over Common Core - fired off in 140-character bursts - is allowing a new kind of activist to gain political influence. While Louis C.K.’s Common Core Twitter rant might be the most famous, he is far from alone in taking to the social media platform to join the Internet war over the new controversial math and English standards most American schools have adopted. Parents and teachers, policy wonks and politicians, teachers unions and libertarian groups are among the 53,000 […]

February 24, 2015

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3:28 PM | ACE Sides With the Worst For-Profit Colleges
Congratulations, One Dupont. You are now officially carrying the water for the worst of the for-profit higher education industry. On Monday, the American Council on Education (ACE) sent a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce supporting Republican legislation that would overturn just about every effort that the Obama administration has made to rein in the for-profit college sector’s worst actors, who have been caught time and again taking advantage of low-income […]
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3:22 PM | The Biggest Losers in the No Child Left Behind Rewrite
Rural school districts and states with large, rural populations are poised to lose a disproportionate amount of funding and opportunities to innovate under a bill proposed by House Republicans, according to a report by the Obama administration. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at an on-the-record breakfast with reporters Monday morning to further detail his concerns with the bill, which would rewrite No Child Left Behind, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary […]
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3:00 PM | Q&A with Shaun Harper: Fix the System, and Black and Brown Men Will Follow
A new national collaborative explicitly aimed at improving outcomes for boys and men of color pivots from the current narrative and focuses on institutions that reduce the quality of life of black and brown men. Rise (Research, Integration, Strategy and Evaluation) will “identify best practices and opportunities for new research that can inform equitable policies, and ultimately create positive change in communities across the United States,” addressing four key areas: education, […]
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3:00 PM | The University of Iowa Gets Serious about Three Year College
The three-year college degree is one proposal we haven’t heard a lot about in policy circles lately. A few years ago some reformers presented as a way to cut the cost of college for many. If students had to take fewer classes, or they earned more credits in high school (or some combination of both of these things), well then we’d have them out in three years and everyone would save money. This idea is not ridiculous—the three year degree bachelor’s degree is common in […]
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1:21 AM | Lamar Alexander: Who's Afraid of Big, Bad Education Regulations
Tomorrow Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, will have hearings to propose cutting federal regulations on higher education as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. We should probably view this hearing with great skepticism. Last week the HELP committee also released a report “detailing ways Congress and the Department of Education could streamline and reduce federal regulations for […]

February 23, 2015

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10:41 PM | High School Is Not Just Adulthood Training
Recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tried to change the mission of the University of Wisconsin system to focus on workforce training exclusively. After opposition from observers he was force to backtrack and the system will maintain its (rather more standard) search for truth and public service mission. But "just jobs" represents a common perspective on the purpose of college education, at least among conservative policy makers. We have public universities, basically, for jobs training. […]
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6:08 AM | Our Washington Post Op-Ed Example Explained
Our op-ed in the Washington Post today uses a hypothetical student loan borrower to illustrate one of the reasons why the Obama administration revised the costs of the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program up by $21.8 billion. Politico reported the revision earlier this month, which was included in the president’s budget. Our op-ed provides some important context to the Politico article. It illustrates why graduates students — even those earning good incomes — are the biggest […]
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3:07 AM | Expelled in Preschool
CHICAGO — A few years ago, 4-year-old Danny was on the verge of being expelled from a Chicago preschool for violent behavior when a woman named Lauren Wiley was called in to help. She met with the boy’s teacher, who thought he needed to be medicated for attention deficit disorder. But as Wiley listened, the teacher admitted she was angry at Danny, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. Her job was to keep her students safe, she said, and the boy’s […]

February 21, 2015

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4:26 AM | Chicago School Board Member Under Investigation Wins Education Industry Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Chicago school board member embroiled in controversy over her investments in companies that do business with the district received a standing ovation and a “Friend of the Education Industry” award Thursday at an education technology conference. Deborah Quazzo, founder and managing partner of GSV Advisors, a venture capital firm, earned the honor from the Education Industry Association, a Washington, D.C., trade organization. Her dual roles as public official and […]

February 20, 2015

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11:10 PM | Oklahoma: History is Too Liberal
And then there was the time Oklahoma just decided that it wasn’t going to teach Advanced Placement History anymore because it turns out AP History is too liberal. According to a piece by Caitlin MacNeal at Talking Points Memo: An Oklahoma House committee on Monday approved a bill taking aim at the new AP U.S. History framework, which conservatives have decried as unpatriotic and negative, the Tulsa World reported. State Rep. Dan Fisher (R) introduced a bill at the beginning of the […]

February 19, 2015

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2:23 PM | What Happens When Computers, Not Teachers, Pick What Students Learn?
NEW YORK - Teacher John Garuccio wrote a multiplication problem on a digital whiteboard in a corner of an unusually large classroom at David A. Boody Intermediate School in Brooklyn. About 150 sixth graders are in this math class — yes, 150 — but Garuccio’s task was to help just 20 of them, with a lesson tailored to their needs. He asked, “Where does the decimal point go in the product?” After several minutes of false starts, a boy offered the correct answer. […]

February 18, 2015

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1:01 PM | What Happens When You Flip an Education Conference? We're About to Find Out
You’ve heard of the flipped classroom. Now comes the flipped conference. And, appropriately, it is being planned for those who want to learn more about blended learning. Blended Learning Newsletter This story is a preview of our weekly Blended Learning email newsletter. You can read the whole newsletter or sign up below. About 300 educators are expected to attend the Colorado Blended and Online Learning Flipped conference this week. In a flipped classroom experience, students […]
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1:21 AM | Why I'm Conflicted About College Athletics
As a college professor doing research in higher education finance and accountability policy, there are many times when my enjoyment of college athletics leaves me conflicted. I enjoy watching my beloved Wisconsin Badgers get the best of (most of) their Big Ten opponents on a regular basis, but I also recognize that at all but the few dozen wealthiest universities, college athletics are heavily subsidized by student fees. (Answering whether athletics programs are actually profitable is very […]

February 17, 2015

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12:54 PM | Community College Online
Since American community college students are more likely to be older, commute to school, work part-time, and care for dependents than their public four-year and private nonprofit counterparts, they need access to more flexible pathways that meet their needs and move them toward a credential. Community College Online, a new report released today by New America’s Education Policy Program, shows that information technology has the potential to support community college students through […]
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12:48 PM | Why We Need to Smash Up the Concept of the Achievement Gap in Tiny Little Pieces
It’s time for researchers to stop using terms like the achievement gap and student success. The sobering data on men of color in colleges is a reflection of college and university performance - so take the scrutiny off of student achievement. Ryan Brown of Deptford, NJ, and other seniors wait in anticipation for President Barack Obama to addresses the 1,200 graduates of Hampton University, a historically black university, at the school’s Armstrong Stadium, in Hampton, Va., Sunday, […]
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12:38 PM | A School Where Students, Teachers Remix Their Schedules Every Week
MILLBRAE, Calif. - A set schedule for the semester is a thing of the past at Design Tech High School in this community in the San Francisco suburbs. Teachers create a new plan every week, based on the students’ progress in class. And, importantly, the day’s work isn’t a top-down mandate. Students decide for themselves how to spend certain segments of their day. “It’s that balance of giving them ownership, asking them to be self-directed,” said Ken Montgomery, […]

February 16, 2015

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1:18 PM | How Many Already Attend Community College for Free?
Graphic by Jill Barshay. Data from NPSAS 2012 and the Community College Research Center When President Barack Obama proposed making two years of community college free, during his State of the Union speech last month, it seemed like a way to give more Americans, especially those at the bottom of the economic ladder, a start at college or a technical degree that could lead to a good job. The White House estimated in its February budget that it would cost $6 billion a year […]

February 14, 2015

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3:03 AM | Strengthening Early Learning in a New ESEA Part 2
This is the second post in a three-part series on strengthening early learning in a new ESEA. In my first post, I discussed a new opportunity to incorporate ways to strengthen early education, PreK-3rd grade, in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In this post, I’ll explore a few ideas that would require big changes in the law but could greatly benefit young students. Generally, early education—and pre-Kindergarten in particular—is relegated to nothing more than […]
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2:49 AM | The GED is Out and Common Core is In
NEW YORK — Nurul Ali was less than half way through the science portion of the new high school equivalency exam last fall when he closed his testing booklet in frustration. After a year of preparation, he didn’t recognize most of the topics. “I thought, if I read any more of these questions I’ll go crazy, so I just closed my book and guessed,” said the 20-year-old Queens resident, who arrived in the United States two and half years ago from Bangladesh and finished […]

February 13, 2015

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11:01 PM | Teachers Turn Themselves into "Detectives" to Make Blended Learning Work
TAMIAMI, Fla. - As the end of the class period nears, students in an algebra class silently solve problems on a four-minute quiz. Later that day, two math teachers review every answer on these quizzes. They aren’t grading the papers. They are detectives. They’re combing through each pencil stroke, searching for clues. For each incorrect answer, they retrace the student’s steps to figure out what went wrong. Then they use this information to devise a plan so that every student […]
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8:53 PM | Lead Writer Responds to Common Common Core English Gripes
Before taking on her role as lead writer of the Common Core State Standards, Susan Pimentel - who has a bachelors degree in early childhood education from Cornell University - was chief architect of the American Diploma Project Benchmarks (ADP), which some consider a precursor to the Common Core. Like the Common Core, ADP sought to close the gap between high school and the expectations of college and the workplace. After completing the Common Core writing process, Pimentel founded the […]
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7:00 PM | How Companies Can Make Millions off American Public Education, Despite Not Doing a Very Good Job
Pearson Education is one of the country’s largest education companies. The British-owned conglomerate is the parent of a variety of media brands, including Addison-Wesley, BBC Active, eCollege, Fronter, Longman, MyEnglishLab, Penguin Readers, Prentice Hall, and Financial Times Press. The company’s Operating profit in 2012 was about $1.4 billion. But that doesn’t mean the company is altogether doing a good job. According to this fascinating article at Politico: Pearson stands […]
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3:39 PM | Avoiding the 'Recipe for Disaster' in Ed Tech Plans
MIAMI, Fla. — Every school in the Miami-Dade County Public School system - nearly 400 buildings - is wired with Wi-Fi. The nation’s fourth largest school district, with about 355,000 students, also revved up bandwidth to ensure that schools had enough speed as more students and teachers went online. District leaders purchased new devices and digital curricular content to use in the classroom. They are now well ahead of President Obama’s goal to modernize connectivity in every […]

February 12, 2015

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10:02 PM | Congressional Report -By Colleges- Complains They're Over-Regulated
A congressional task force says colleges and universities are overburdened by federal regulation, including requirements that they disclose certain consumer information to students and families. The task force, appointed by a bipartisan group of senators, consists entirely of 16 present and past university and college chancellors and presidents and representatives of university associations, and the report was produced by the universities’ primary lobbying organization, the American […]
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7:07 PM | Strengthening Early Learning in a New ESEA
This is the first of three posts on early learning in a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Change is on the horizon for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a process which acquired some new urgency when the Republicans took control of the Senate in January. And “change” is really the only way to move things forward. Senator Alexander’s (R-TN) bipartisan partisan approach—where he introduced a discussion draft without conferring with […]

February 11, 2015

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9:43 PM | Q and A with Daniel Weisberg of TNTP
NEW YORK — Is there a better way to recruit, train, evaluate and retain public school teachers? As much of the country shifts to new Common Core standards, Daniel Weisberg, named CEO last week of the alternative teacher-certification and advocacy group The New Teacher Project (TNTP), thinks that question is more important now than ever. It’s one reason the former private sector lawyer and chief labor strategist under New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein believes giving […]
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3:40 PM | Scott Walker Is ALL about Jobs
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a controversial figure. During his tenure as the chief executive of the state, he’s become notable for his enthusiastic efforts to destroy the power of public labor unions by requiring them to recertify annually and taking away the power of those unions to bargain collectively over pensions and health care. But recently he went ever further in his efforts to roll back progressive achievements in his state. According to a piece by Kevin Drum over at […]

February 10, 2015

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4:00 PM | How College Mergers Can Screw Students
For 125 years the Corcoran School of Art occupied a unique position in Washington. Founded with money provided in the estate of banker and art collector William Wilson Corcoran to promote art education in the nation’s capital, Corcoran was an example of a now rare institution very common in the 19th-century, the museum-college hybrid. It worked pretty well for much of the 20th century, producing generations of painters and sculptors (as well as Project Runway’s Tim Gunn and […]
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